Thomas Edison State University By Thomas Edison State University • July 24, 2013

5 Qualities of Successful People You Should Develop

We’ve all been there. We watch a coworker or classmate continually produce stellar work, say the right thing at the right time AND do it all with a smile and some cheer. We can’t help but wonder, how do they do it all – and so well?

These are the people who have learned success is more than hard work and determination (although this is the formula for 95% of any achievement). They are always alert, always ready and always thinking. And while there is no magic formula for success, these people know how to use the tools required to achieve success with a laser point focus. By understanding what makes them tick, you too can develop the five key qualities that will set you on the path to success.

1. They think outside the box.

Successful people don’t see problems; they see opportunities and solutions to every obstacle put in their path. By maintaining an open mind and tapping into your creative side, you will be able to accomplish what needs to be done through innovative and inventive ways. After all, as one life coach put it, “the only limits in your life are those that you set yourself.”

2. They are able to say no.

How many Hollywood films, blogs and self-help books encourage us to harness the power of ‘yes?' But in the end, it is saying ‘no’ that seems so much more difficult. Successful people say no because they understand how it impacts their credibility and productivity. By saying no to the things you do not have time for or aren’t good at, you can concentrate your efforts and improve upon the strong suits that are uniquely yours. Once you start to say no, you will also be able to focus on what is important, developing selective and prioritization skills, which can lead to healthy habits, like sleeping and eating better, and exercising more. Translation: It will make you happier.

3. They are engaged.

If you don’t believe in mind over matter, then you probably don’t believe in hypnosis, the placebo effect, faith, or... the list goes on. Successful people approach every endeavor with a constructive mindset ready and eager to tackle any task. By altering your outlook, you will not succumb to negative vibes or daily frustrations, which will drastically improve your attitude. Feel good, feel empowered – and personal growth won’t be far behind.

4. They can adapt.

We are creatures of habit; we inherently do not like change. But successful people recognize the importance of being flexible, and can adjust to any situation and work well with anyone. By understanding how others think, and developing essential listening skills, you can arrive at conclusions more clearly and solve problems under pressure. When you find yourself on the precipice of a challenge or obstacle, consider Charles Darwin’s very definition of adaptability, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” It is a skill that takes practice, but the reward is great.

5. They pursue a life of meaning.

Of course, not the eternal quest to discover why we are all here, but the pursuit of personal happiness and value. Successful people do what makes them happy, and they will take any risks necessary to reach that goal. When you are excited and passionate about what you do, you tend to give it your best. Do what you love, whatever brings purpose and fulfillment to your life, and you will always bring your ‘A’ game.

Success, however you choose to measure it, begins with how you think. The human mind is a powerful tool, and successful people just recognize how to tap into that power before they apply hard work. By practicing and utilizing these five key qualities into your everyday interactions, both professionally and personally, you will be able to turn obstacles into opportunity. You will just see it differently. And that’s more than half the battle.

Thomas Edison State University

Written by Thomas Edison State University

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